By Dave Kopel
Gun World, 1994
Now that Handgun Control, Inc. has had its way with requiring you to get police permission to buy a handgun, and with outlawing politically incorrect "assault weapons," the group is going to give up, and leave gun owners alone. Not!
Plenty of gun-owners have sat out the gun-control battles so far, in the selfish and foolish belief that the fight didn't involve them. These gun-owners reasoned that they already had a handgun, and didn't want to buy an AKS rifle, so the waiting period and "assault weapon" issues didn't affect them. Well, as a result of having let Handgun Control, Inc. win on these "minor "issues, HCI now has a bill with restrictions that will severely infringe the rights of many more gun owners. The HCI bill (known as "Brady II") is at the top of HCI's agenda.
Unless gun owners get very active politically in the next several months, and help defeat in the November elections dozens of the politicians who are now pushing gun control, there is a good chance that Brady II could become law in the next two years. Here's what Sarah Brady has in store for you:
Any person who owns 20 or more firearms or more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition or primers (i.e. two "bricks " of rimfire ammo) would be required to get an "arsenal " license.
To obtain a federal arsenal license, you would need to be fingerprinted, obtain permission of local zoning authorities, and pay a $300 tax every three years. Your home would be subjected to unannounced, warrantless inspection by the government up to three times a year.
"Arsenal" owners would also have to obtain a $100,000 dollar insurance policy.
If you own less than 20 guns and keep only minimal ammunition supplies on hand, don't think that you're exempt from the "arsenal" license. "Brady II" redefines "firearm" to include magazines and "any part of the action"(such as pins, springs, or screws).
In other words, if you have two Colt pistols, three Remington rifles, and four magazines (of any size) for each gun, then you own an "arsenal."Or if you own two guns, six magazines, and a box of disassembled gun parts that contains five springs, five pins, and five screws, then you own 23 firearms and must obtain an "arsenal" license.
As for folks who don't own "arsenals," HCI still has plenty for them.
Every handgun buyer would be required to obtain a state handgun license. The license would be good for no more than two years. No-one could obtain a license without passing a state-controlled "safety" course. The fees for the license and the safety course would have no limits. The fees could be set far in excess of the state cost of providing the license and the course; instead, the fees could a source of general revenue.
Nothing would prevent licensing authorities from taking nearly a year to issue a license (the current practice in New York City). And nothing would prevent the authorities from making the "safety "test so rigorous that almost no-one except a Class A IPSC shooter could pass.
By the way, the fact that you have been shooting handguns for 50 years, or are a NRA certified safety instructor, or are a competitive target shooter would not exempt you from the requirement to pay for the government "safety" class.
Every handgun transfer (including your father-in-law giving you his old revolver) would be subject to these restrictions. In addition, every handgun transferred would have to be registered by make and serial number.
The late Pete Shields, the chair of HCI, in a 1976 interview, explained his strategy for using registration as a way-station to handgun confiscation:
"The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition--expect for the police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors--totally illegal."(Richard Harris, AA Reporter at Large: Handguns," New Yorker, July 26, 1976, p. 58).
Handgun Control, Inc. currently denies that it wants to confiscate handguns. But, to extent that the promise is sincere, it is no more likely to be kept than HCI's earlier (and broken) promise "our organization, Handgun Control, Inc. does not propose further controls on rifles and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are not the problem; they are not concealable."(Pete Shields, Guns Don't Die--People Do, Priam Press, 1981, pp. 47-48).
Currently, the price of guns and ammunition is increased by an 11% federal excise tax, revenues from which go to improve hunting habitat and to fund the development of target ranges. HCI's "Brady II" would increase the taxes to 30% on handguns, and 50% on ammunition. So a $300 pistol would cost $390, and a $10 box of ammunition would cost $15.
The tax revenues, instead of being spent on the shooting sports, would be spent on health care, as if law-abiding target shooters should be held responsible for picking up the tab for Mrs. Clinton's socialized medicine boondoggle.
It would become a federal crime to buy more than one handgun a month. Too bad if you see a nice pair of old West revolvers you want to buy at a gun show.
The first "Brady Bill" was enacted by Congress because HCI promised to adopt the NRA's "instant check" idea. No later than February 1998, the Brady bill's handgun waiting period will expire. It will be replaced by an "instant check" on the retail sale of all firearms.
"Brady II" renounces the compromise that made enactment of Brady I possible. A permanent 7-day waiting period would be imposed on all handgun transfers ( including gifts between family members).
The list of persons banned by law from owning any gun would be expanded. If you got into a bar fight 20 years ago, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault, you would be barred for the rest of your life from owning any gun. (And subject to a mandatory five years in federal prison if you were caught.) Any other crime, no matter, how petty, that involved the use or threatened use of force would likewise become a lifetime prohibition.
Or suppose that during an acrimonious divorce 15 years ago, you and your ex-wife both obtained a restraining order, which simply ordered each of you to stay away from other. A restraining order would also become a permanent bar to gun possession.
Possession of handguns or handgun ammunition by a person under the age of 21, or possession of any guns or ammunition by a person under the age of 16, would be illegal. So forget about giving your 15 year old nephew a .22 rifle as a gift.
All firearms would have to be "properly stored" is prevent access by anyone under the age of 16. If a 15 year old burglar broke into your home, stole a gun, and shot a fellow gang member with it, you would be guilty of a crime, and could be sued by the gang member.
All magazines which hold more than 6 rounds would be outlawed. Possession of existing magazines with a larger capacity would be allowed under the same terms as currently applicable to possession of machine guns: a 10-point FBI fingerprint; an expensive federal tax; and possession only allowed if a letter of authorization from the local police chief is obtained.
Gun shows would be destroyed, since licensed firearms dealers would not be allowed to sell guns at the show.
There are plenty more provisions in Brady II, the worst of which is a ban on so-called "Saturday Night Specials."A "Saturday Night Special" would be defined as:
1. A handgun with any parts made of zinc alloy.
2. Any handgun that uses .22 short ammunition (or course many guns that use .22 LR can also use .22 short).
3. Any revolver with a barrel less than 3 inches.
4. Any pistol with combined height and length of less than 10 inches.
5. Any pistol without a "positive manually operated safety device."
Do you suppose that if HCI passes "Brady II" that there won't be a "Brady III," and a "Brady IV."And what will be in "Brady III" and "Brady IV"? Mrs. Brady has already told us.
She wants a "needs-based licensing" system, under which no one could own any gun unless the local police chief decided that the person "needed" to have the gun. (Erik Eckhom, "A Little Gun Control, a Lot of Guns," New York Times, Aug. 15, 1993, p. B1).
Ownership of a gun for protection would not be considered a legitimate "need."Says Mrs. Brady "To me, the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes." (Tom Jackson, "Keeping the Battle Alive," Tampa Tribune, Oct. 21, 1993.)
Two hundred and sixteen members of the House of Representatives, and 56 Senators voted for HCI's bill to ban "assault weapons" and swallowed the pack of falsehoods that HCI used to promote the bill. While most of these legislators will claim that they support the right to keep and bear arms, their gun-banning actions prove otherwise. Unless you are willing to put your own time and money into removing as many as possible of these 272 enemies of the Constitution from public office in the November 1994 elections, then you are derelict in your duty to your nation and to the freedom of following generations. If you're too selfish or lazy to get to work, then the Bradys and the Clintons will have their way with you.
There is no more room left to retreat. Join the battle.
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